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World Tribunal on Iraq Documenting War Crimes

World Tribunal on Iraq Documenting War Crimes

Haifa Zangana is an Iraqi-born novelist and former political prisoner. She went back to Iraq for the first time in 2004, after 25 years of exile. She was imprisoned in Abu Ghraib by the Ba'athist regime and tortured. She said today: "The U.S. managed in the last two years what Saddam Hussein could not in the past 35, killing our hope for a democratic future. There are many people from Iraq taking part in this Tribunal because it is very important for us to document all the crimes we are enduring: the random killings, the collective punishments, the indiscriminate use of weapons, including napalm, the looting, the torture. ... Advocates of democracy like me are now finding their task harder, as the occupation makes a mockery of any notion of democracy. People in Iraq now laugh at us if we say democracy, indeed, it has all become laughable with this carnage we are experiencing, along with a stunning shortage of medicines, of clean water, of electricity, and of freedom." Zangana can also arrange interviews with other members of the Iraqi delegation.

Goodrich served in the US Air Force and was in the Middle East during the invasion of Afghanistan and leading up to the war in Iraq. He returned to Iraq in 2004 as part of a fact-finding delegation. He said today: "I was there in Iraq in fall of 2002 when the war was already happening even though it was not officially announced. We were dropping bombs then, and I saw bombing intensify as a part of the 'softening up' of Iraq's defenses. All the documents coming out now, the Downing street memo and others, confirm what I had witnessed in Iraq. The war had already begun while our leaders were telling us that they were going to try all diplomatic options first. ... The true picture on Iraq is not what is shown on the American media. The situation is getting much worse. The soldiers and Iraqis are suffering more than people know."

Brendan Smith is a lawyer and co-editor of the forthcoming book "In The Name Of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond." He is in Istanbul attending the Tribunal. He said today: "In America's Wild West, citizens would seize criminals, hold impromptu hearings, and hand the guilty over to officials. With global enforcement of the Geneva Conventions blocked by the U.S. at every turn, the World Tribunal on Iraq is here to make such citizen's arrest."

Jodie Evans is the co-founder of Code Pink. She is attending the World Tribunal on Iraq in Istanbul. She said today: “I’m here to gather evidence to indict Bush. … I also just came back from Iran where I did 400 interviews. Many people I spoke with said that they do not like the domestic policies of their own government, but actually like the fact that it stands up to the United States. They told me that they will stand behind even this government, however opposed to it they may be, if the United States takes military action against their nation.”

DAVID BARSAMIAN, Barsamian, co-author of "Terrorism: Theirs & Ours", is in Istanbul for the Tribunal. He said today: "The Nuremberg trials and the U.N. charter have established in international law the idea that aggression constitutes crime against peace and that this is the supreme international war crime. The invasion of Iraq is an example of violation of Nuremberg principles and the U.N. charter."

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